In which I describe who I am, what motivates me, and what this blog is about

I am in my twenties, white, male, upper middle-class. It is hard for me to say that I have sincerely wanted for anything in my life, either economically or emotionally. In many ways I am the least qualified to talk about discrimination and prejudice. Things that I have to say about pretty much any ‘-ism’ must be qualified with the disclaimer that I have no first hand experience with them, except as an observer. However these writings are not intended to be an apology for privileges that the accident of birth has bestowed upon me. For me to feel guilty about things which are profoundly outside of my control is a quirk of personality that I am glad has escaped me. I have a hard enough time feeling guilty about things which are inside my control.

My motivations for writing are simple. I think I have something of value to say and the Internet allows me to say it. But one thing that I am very aware of is that nothing I say, no matter how well observed and reasoned, carries any weight when compared with the actual experiences of those who suffer under the Patriarchy. I can lay no legitimate claim to speaking from a truly informed position. I am not here to tell anyone how to think, only to tell people how I think. One of simplest yet most important concepts (and one I’ll come back to a lot) is that the feeling of oppression is always a personal judgment. I have no right to tell a woman that she ought not to be offended by something, just like I have no right to tell a black man how he should feel about the slow death of Civil Rights movement.

I have always gone through life with at least the theoretical idea that women were as much human beings as men (it is often hard to maintain that view when dealing with a world dominated by Patriarchal tropes). That viewpoint I owe to a remarkable woman, my mother. I have on at least one regrettable occasion, my little sister recently reminded me, referred to my mother as ‘an ankle-biting feminist.’ I am not sure what that comment meant precisely, but I think it is fair to say that at least the latter part of the description is accurate. My mother is, and has been as long as I have known her, a highly articulate ‘blamer’ who understood (and continues to understand) the subservient roles forced on women far better than I will ever be able to. It is a sad commentary on me that it has taken me this long to realize that she is far more right than I have ever given her credit for and that it took outside influences to make me realize this.

I, essentially, had a ‘come-to-Jesus’ moment about feminism recently which has lead me to where I am now. It started innocently enough with a link from somewhere (I thought Jessa Crispin’s BookSlut blog but I can’t find the post there) to a review of “It’s A Jungle Out There” on the G Spot blog. That review happened to mention Twisty’s essential feminist reading list something I, as both an avid reader and someone deeply interested in gender studies, decided I needed to find. I never did find the book list, but I did find Twisty’s blog. From her blog I found a link to Hell on Hairy Legs, the feminist blog of a high school student in Australia who had linked to Nine Deuce’s blog series on pornography. It was from there that I found a link back to Twisty’s blog, to her seminal (and hotly discussed) post on rape. I read her post, all of the comments on it, and then all of the comments on the second post she put up to continue the discussion. It took the better part of two days to go through everything. I read, I thought, I got angry. I felt challenged and unfairly blamed. I got over that. Somewhere during all of this, a light bulb went off.

So all this is about me trying to figure out exactly what that light-bulb was telling me and maybe helping other people realize the same things I’ve realized. Women aren’t free, society isn’t equal, we’re all gonna die. Well, at least the first two. I’m still holding out hope on the living forever thing.

About these ads

Tags:

4 Responses to “In which I describe who I am, what motivates me, and what this blog is about”

  1. Iain Hall Says:

    Feminism is really a dead end and as a young man you are bound to end up being abused by the feminists that you so clearly admire.
    I have been there and done that and I eventually came to the conclusion that although some of the social criticism has some merit the ideology is too full of a desire for vengeance (for wrongs real and imagined) and an over whelming misandry that sees all men as being lesser human beings than women, for it to be any use in my life.
    Although Feminist may talk a great deal about equality what they are really seeking is to make our society a matriarchy. Frankly I think that such a change would not result in a fairer society.
    I hope that you enjoy blogging it is challenging and interesting but you will get more out of it if you seek out blogs that you disagree with and engage in debate rather than staying safe in the realms of blogs you agree with.

  2. pload Says:

    Awh, my first concern troll. I feel so tingly all over. Though I can’t really stand the patronizing “you’ll understand when you’re older” thesis being pushed here. I get the same thing all the time (in other avenues) while discussing politics with conservatives, where there is always the assumption that age == wisdom. It doesn’t. Being older means you had more time to potentially grow wiser, but also more time to fossilize belief in your outmoded tropes. So thank you for trying to save a wee babe like me from the evil womenzes, but I am really doing just fine.

    I also find your blanket dismissal of feminism intellectually lazy (not to mention patronizing, again). While simultaneously pleading with me to open my mind, you paint an entire, incredibly diverse, movement as being a ‘dead end’. In other words, you just want to be open to ideas that you consider acceptable. This is another fallacy that conservatives are quick to push. Just because there are multiple sides to an issue, does not give them all equal validity. Intelligent Design is not a valid counterpoint to evolution, as much as some people might wish it was. As someone who knows that evolution happens, there is nothing to be gained from reading about Intelligent Design, except the occasional chuckle. Closing your mind to valid growth and ignoring tripe are two different exercises. Again, thank you for trying to save me, but I am not particularly worried about my mental growth.

    To address the one, slightly substantive point you made, I think you, and many other males, mistake a desire for equality with a matriarchy. Creating equality between men and women will result in the restriction of male privilege. This is not a zero-sum game. The elimination of slavery in America resulted in the loss of whites’ right to own slavery and the financial benefits that imparted. Making women equal will cost men something. That is inevitable. I just happen to believe the trade-off is worth it.

  3. Iain Hall Says:

    Awh, my first concern troll. I feel so tingly all over. Though I can’t really stand the patronising “you’ll understand when you’re older” thesis being pushed here. I get the same thing all the time (in other avenues) while discussing politics with conservatives, where there is always the assumption that age == wisdom. It doesn’t. Being older means you had more time to potentially grow wiser, but also more time to fossilise belief in your outmoded tropes. So thank you for trying to save a wee babe like me from the evil women, but I am really doing just fine.

    You probably can’t stand the older wiser perspective because deep down you know that there is more than a grain of truth in it. I actually began life as what you in the US would call a “liberal” and I have become more conservative with time because I discovered the “outmoded tropes” are not ALL so worthy of dismissal.

    I also find your blanket dismissal of feminism intellectually lazy (not to mention patronising, again).While simultaneously pleading with me to open my mind, you paint an entire, incredibly diverse, movement as being a ‘dead end’. In other words, you just want to be open to ideas that you consider acceptable.

    Well like a lot of social dead ends feminism is not entirely without some merit but it is more limited than you want to admit, Of course we want to be open to ideas that we find acceptable perhaps you can explain why we should find the underlying misandry in feminism acceptable?

    This is another fallacy that conservatives are quick to push. Just because there are multiple sides to an issue, does not give them all equal validity. Intelligent Design is not a valid counterpoint to evolution, as much as some people might wish it was. As someone who knows that evolution happens, there is nothing to be gained from reading about Intelligent Design, except the occasional chuckle. Closing your mind to valid growth and ignoring tripe are two different exercises. Again, thank you for trying to save me, but I am not particularly worried about my mental growth.

    I would never argue that every viewpoint is equally valid, nor would I disagree with you that “intelligent design” is in any way as sensible as Darwin’s theory of natural selection , as for saving you well that is between you and what ever deity you acknowledge I would never bother to try to save anyone from wrong thinking , eventually you will see the light or you won’t; an off handed blog comment is not that powerful.

    To address the one, slightly substantive point you made, I think you, and many other males, mistake a desire for equality with a matriarchy. Creating equality between men and women will result in the restriction of male privilege. This is not a zero-sum game. The elimination of slavery in America resulted in the loss of whites’ right to own slavery and the financial benefits that imparted. Making women equal will cost men something. That is inevitable. I just happen to believe the trade-off is worth it.

    Why do you think this? it is naive in the extreme. What exactly do you know about me or any other male? What do you know about what it really means to be a man? Because as I see it until you know what it is to be a man, a real man and not a macho stereotype that you will be of no use to any cause and certainly not to feminism.

  4. pload Says:

    No, actually I’m pretty sure it is condescension I don’t like. I’m not scared of conservatism or that I might secretly agree with it. I just find it rather morally repugnant.

    perhaps you can explain why we should find the underlying misandry in feminism acceptable?

    In my experiences with feminists, I’ve only found a few who actually hate individual men (there are exceptions to everything of course). The anger is directed at men in general or male institutions (commonly known as the Patriarchy). I don’t consider that anger particularly misplaced. Anger at those who are oppressing you seems to be a perfectly reasonable emotion to me.

    Why do you think this? it is naive in the extreme. What exactly do you know about me or any other male? What do you know about what it really means to be a man? Because as I see it until you know what it is to be a man, a real man and not a macho stereotype that you will be of no use to any cause and certainly not to feminism.

    Ooooh, questioning my masculinity. A truly ferocious argument. I fear I shall never recover from this savaging (you are aware that I’m male, right?). It also has nothing to do with the point I was making, so I’m not exactly sure what you’re driving at here. But to buttress my argument slightly more, look at wage inequality. In the US, women earn about 80% of what men earn in similar jobs. Bringing that into equality will result in womens’ wages going up and mens’ wages going down. There is no magic wage wand you can wave that will result in a larger pool of money to pay wages. Equality will hurt men.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

%d bloggers like this: